Sunday morning, I woke up with an unreasonable craving for granola bars. It probably had a bit to do with the statement Mr. How Sweet made on New Year’s Day… something along the lines of wanting to buy Fiber One bars in bulk? I raised an eyebrow.
He does not need any more fiber. Trust me.

Why won’t he eat my own granola bars?

I’m sure if I could create a granola bar out of chicken and steak, he’d go to town on that.
But now that I’ve left you with that digusting image in your head , let me tell you about the deliciousness that is these peanut butter granola bars.

They may just be the simplest bars you’ll ever make!

You only need five ingredients to begin. They will create a simple, perfect peanut butter granola bar, but I also like to think of it as a base for a packed peanut butter granola bar.
Since I’ve made six batches of these bars since Sunday, I can tell you what works: chocolate chips, dried cherries, almonds, wheat germ, dried figs, and dried banana.

Yes, dried banana. A peanut butter, honey and banana granola bar! Mmmmm. I think I’m in heaven.

Into this particular batch went a boatload of chocolate chips, because well… we all know nothing is better than chocolate and peanut butter.

I know I don’t need to explain myself to you guys. You know me.

And since you know me, many of you are probably wondering when I’ll cave and add bacon. Honestly, I just thought about it for the first time as I was writing this post. Perhaps I need to make an Elvis granola bar? I am giddy at the thought.

I might need to be committed after that one.

The best part? You don’t even have to bake these bad boys. I baked 3 batches and left 3 other batches as no-bakes. I can’t decide which I like better, but I do love that the chocolate gets a bit melty in the oven.
Have you ever bit into a warm granola bar? You need to experience this.

The funniest part of these granola bars is that before I perfected this easy concoction on Sunday afternoon, I had 3 failed attempts – all more complicated and full of fluff. Sometimes simple is better, no?
At least I’m off to a good start with 2011 recipe disasters. Nothing like getting ahead.

5 Ingredient Peanut Butter Granola Bars

makes 12-16 granola squares

4 cups rolled oats

2 tablespoons chia seeds (these are optional, I just love the texture they give)

1/2 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped

3/4 cup natural peanut butter, melted

1/2 cup brown rice syrup (honey works too!)
add ins:

chocolate chips

wheat germ


dried fruit (I made some with cherries!)

other nuts

Preheat over to 350.

In a large bowl, combine oats, chia seeds and peanuts. Add brown rice syrup (or honey) and mix to combine. Add melted peanut butter and mix until moistened. This works as a perfect, simple granola bar, but you can also throw in any add-ins at this time. Fold them into the dough. You may need to get in there with your hands and work the granola dough! If dough is still too dry (this can depend on your ingredients) add more peanut butter or syrup (or honey) 1 tablespoon at a time until moistened.

Press dough in a greased (non-stick spray) 9 x 13 baking dish. Bake for 25 minutes.

These would also work as a great no-bake granola bar, but I liked how they came together and the chocolate chips melted as they got warm. If you want to make no-bakes, simply press the dough into the pan and refrigerate for 60 minutes.

Off to dream of bacon granola bars. Don’t hate.

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284 Responses to “5 Ingredient Peanut Butter Granola Bars.”

  1. #
    Linda — January 5, 2011 @ 11:15 pm

    I love granola <3


  2. #
    Amanda L. (Tales From A Kitchen Misfit) — January 5, 2011 @ 11:27 pm

    I would make bacon granola bars. PROTEIN!


  3. #
    Eliz@The Sweet Life — January 6, 2011 @ 12:44 am

    The simplicity of this recipe really makes you wonder why commercial makers need to put so many ingredients in theirs, doesn’t it? Great recipe!


  4. #
    Kat — January 6, 2011 @ 1:07 am

    I love granola bars! Homemade ones are the best


  5. #
    Betty Jo — January 6, 2011 @ 2:55 am

    Hello! These look great. I do have a question about the add-ins though. How much of each item would you put in? Like if I wanted to add-in the wheat germ and dried cranberries, how much of each would I use? I’m assuming that if you add too much, the bars won’t stay together….. Thanks!


    • Jessica — January 6th, 2011 @ 4:01 pm

      Hi Betty Jo! Unfortunately I rarely measure things like that and just threw in about a handful of each. Maybe 1/3 of a cup? If the bars are crumbly, just add more peanut butter or syrup – make them your own!


  6. #
    Jessica @ Domestic Goddess-in-Training — January 6, 2011 @ 5:09 am

    Yay! Excited to try homemade granola bars for the first time! Thanks :)


  7. #
    Jamie — January 6, 2011 @ 6:32 am

    I’ve always wanted to try making my own granola bars! Perhaps I’ll brave it soon. I’m all for bacon granola bars.


  8. #
    Kathleen @ Kat's Health Corner — January 6, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

    Simplicity is AWESOME. :)


  9. #
    Amy at TheSceneFromMe — January 6, 2011 @ 2:49 pm

    Yummy, these sound incredibly delicious! I quit buying granola bars from the store, not really that healthy and too many weird ingredients and preservatives.
    I want to definitely give this recipe a try! Thanks for sharing. And I’ll be on the lookout for your bacon inspired granola bar recipe soon :)


  10. #
    Lynda&MeandMyPinkMixer — January 6, 2011 @ 2:57 pm

    I just posted about PB Granola Bars too ~ great minds think alike :)
    I would love to try Chai seeds in mine, but I haven’t been able to find them yet. I haven’t baked mine yet, but that’s a good idea too. Love your recipes!


  11. #
    Nicole, RD — January 6, 2011 @ 3:50 pm

    Mmmm! These look delicious!


  12. #
    Moni'sMeals — January 6, 2011 @ 11:39 pm

    these are everything I want in a granola bar! Awesome.


  13. #
    Tamara — January 7, 2011 @ 5:04 am

    I just made these and Its my favorite oatmeal bar yet Ive made several different kinds that included eggs or butter and the consistency was always difficult to get right, this one really stayed together well and was so much simpler to make.
    I used almond butter instead of peanut butter, cashews, sea salted chocolate w/almonds, banana chips and chopped dried plums. I’m really happy with the way they came out I had to stop my husband from eating them all so we could wrap them up for breakfast.
    Next time i want to try a version with ginger, coconut, chocolate w/ginger and chopped macadamia nuts.


  14. #
    CaSaundra — January 7, 2011 @ 2:15 pm

    I am huge fan of making/eating homemade granola bars. I love that these use chia seeds too, I have a bunch I need to use up!


  15. #
    sheila @ Elements — January 8, 2011 @ 8:04 am

    Sounds like a perfect granola bar to me! I know I would love it! :)


  16. #
    Jen — January 8, 2011 @ 9:10 pm

    Thanks for the recipe! I’ve used these ingredients a thousand times to make what my 3-year-old called “goody balls” and was excited about the possibility of baking them into actual granola bars. (never dawned on me before) However, I ran into two problems I’m hoping you can shed some light on…

    First, we used the fresh natural peanut butter that is ground on the spot at our lil’ local organic market and I had a heck of a time trying to get it to melt. I gave up after a while since it seemed to only be getting thicker. I did use the stove top (we rejected microwaves a few years back). Any ideas there?

    Also, after baking the bars they fell apart. I made sure the batter was moist (had to add in at least 3/4 c. honey) and I didn’t use any add-ins except a handful of raisins. What do you recommend for next time?

    Thanks again for your post and the recipe. I’m eager to get what I see in these pictures here in our kitchen! Yum!


    • Jessica — January 8th, 2011 @ 9:29 pm

      Hi Jen!
      I really am not sure of another way to get the self ground peanut butter to melt other than what you used. Maybe a different brand of peanut butter would work? I’m thinking that this also may have been the reason the bars didn’t stay together. As you can see in the pictures, my peanut butter was really runny and acted as a second “glue” to hold them. You could try baking them for a little less time or even a little longer and see if they hold – all over temperatures differ!


      • Jen — January 9th, 2011 @ 2:40 am

        Thanks for your quick reply! I think I’ll try again with another natural brand. That makes sense. :) Either way, even the crumbly bars taste great! I’m thinking they would be awesome broken in a bowl with ice cream! (maybe not as healthy, but very yummy!)

  17. #
    Ally — January 9, 2011 @ 6:35 pm

    Ohh these look really good. I have been looking for a easy to make granola bar :) Thanks for sharing!


  18. #
    Melissa — January 9, 2011 @ 10:35 pm

    I just came across your blog and had to let you know I am in love & will be making MANY of your recipes :) Thumbs up to you!


  19. #
    Teri [a foodie stays fit] — January 10, 2011 @ 1:44 am

    I just put these in the oven! And I’m now wishing that I had added pretzels to my mixture. I saw pretzels as I was putting away the raisins and thought, “Brilliant! but dang…too late!”


  20. #
    Barbie — January 10, 2011 @ 1:46 pm

    Girl you are such an inspiration. I have so many of your recipes flagged. I made this over the weekend and added some dried cranberries and wowzers it was fabs!!

    I’ll be blogging it soon. I’ll let you know so you can check out how inspired me.

    Keep on Making Stuff!



    • Jessica — January 10th, 2011 @ 1:48 pm

      So glad you like them!


  21. #
    Casey — January 12, 2011 @ 3:07 am

    Aw, man! Delicious recipe, but these crumbled for me, too. I had a little bit of trouble getting my peanut butter to melt like Jen (I used Smuckers Natural) so maybe that had something to do with it?

    I should have added more honey before I put them in the pan — I had a feeling they’d be a crumbly batch. Tasty crumbs though!!!


  22. #
    Connie — January 20, 2011 @ 4:46 am

    i made granola instead cuz the bar form didn’t work out for me , and it turned out amazing! i couldn’t stop eating it! thanks for the recipe, and your site is fantastical!


    • Jessica — January 20th, 2011 @ 1:16 pm

      So glad you liked it!


  23. #
    Allie — February 8, 2011 @ 4:03 pm

    These look good! As soon as I get my hands on peanuts, I am making these.


  24. #
    Kurt — February 20, 2011 @ 11:17 pm

    i found that 25 minutes was too much time, came out pretty dark, but other wise yummy.


  25. #
    Sophie — March 30, 2011 @ 12:33 pm

    How can I melt the peanut butter?


    • Jessica — March 30th, 2011 @ 1:26 pm

      In the microwave or using a double boiler works!


  26. #
    Christina — May 19, 2011 @ 6:55 pm

    I have to say, this looked scrumptious. All that peanut butter, chocolate chips….mmm. But I followed the directions (adding flax seed, coconut, choc chips, chopped almonds, and dried cherries) and when they came out of the oven I was unimpressed. The flavor was bland. I could hardly taste the 3/4 c of yummy organic natural peanut butter I had added…the texture was crumbly- I have no idea how you cut them into perfect squares. I guess it will make okay granola cereal. Next time I’ll stick with the recipe on top of the Laura Scudder’s jar of peanut butter.


  27. #
    Amy — June 15, 2011 @ 3:53 pm

    Tried this recipe this afternoon and I was disappointed. The bars were very crumbly and this was after adding extra peanut butter. The taste of the bars was OK….will keep looking for another peanut butter granola bar recipe.


  28. #
    Erika — June 25, 2011 @ 5:16 pm

    These look delicious! How do you suggest storing them, and how long do you think they will keep? Do you think that freezing them would work out well?


    • Jessica — June 26th, 2011 @ 8:41 am

      I always store them in an airtight container or every just wrapped in saran wrap. I honestly haven’t tried freezing them!


  29. #
    Lorne — July 19, 2011 @ 2:40 pm

    wouldn’t these need to be baked cause they have oats in them? If you didnt bake them then you would be eating refrigerated oats. Is that ok to do. I just don’t understand how you’d have no bake bars with oatmeal in them, could you explain?


    • Jessica — July 19th, 2011 @ 3:09 pm

      I use oatmeal in no-bake things all the time. It’s actually pretty popular.


  30. #
    rebekah — August 3, 2011 @ 8:37 pm

    I’m making these tasty treats RIGHT NOW….literally!!! I hope they turn out good!!


  31. #
    The Skinny Pig — August 22, 2011 @ 1:26 pm

    These sound great and I’ve been working on a similar recipe! And adding bacon is ALWAYS a good move.. :)


  32. #
    Anna — August 23, 2011 @ 10:06 am

    Loved your simple recipe! really appreciated not having lots of ‘filler’ ingredients. I added more peanutbutter and honey than the recipe and threw in some molasses, the gooey combination has held everything together really well.


  33. #
    Jackie — August 27, 2011 @ 8:34 pm

    I loved these granola bars! Although my dough was a bit too dry and the bars ended up falling apart, it still made for a yummy breakfast granola with some milk!


  34. #
    Nikki K — September 12, 2011 @ 1:37 pm

    They’re in the oven right now. I added Flaxseed and Chocolate Chips. I hope I put in enough peanut butter and honey to make them stick together. Either way me and my daughter had fun making them and they smell amazing!


    • Nikki K — September 12th, 2011 @ 2:02 pm

      Well, I baked them in my oven for 25 minutes (silly me was looking up recipes online instead of watching them better) and they got way too brown and burnt on the edges. Not sure they’ll be salvageable. Bummed I wasted so many ingredients, but when I get my hands on them again I’ll give this another shot and just cook them for less time. But they do still smell good.


  35. #
    JessieH — September 15, 2011 @ 8:29 pm

    This recipe looks awesome! Do you think you could add the nutritional value of one bar or the whole recipe? I’m on a diet so I’m counting the calories…..


  36. #
    Jessica — September 18, 2011 @ 11:35 pm

    These are awesome! I just use the rolled oats, melted peanut butter, honey and chocolate chips and my mother goes bonkers over them! They’re very delicious and simple. I read a comment about them falling apart and mine do the same, but I didn’t think of using them as cereal, great idea. Thank you for the recipe!


  37. #
    Aimi — December 4, 2011 @ 5:16 pm

    After reading some comments on how this recipe didn’t turn out as planned, I halved all of the ingredients, in case it didn’t. I used honey instead of brown rice syrup, since I had a lot on hand, and I used a natural (store-bought in a jar but made from real peanuts) peanut butter. After only about 15-20 minutes, it looked pretty browned, so I took it out early. Unfortunately, mine was also crumbly and didn’t stick together like bars at all. Maybe a stickier, sugarier peanut butter (e.g., JIF or Peter Pan) would work better. Even though it didn’t work out, I think it’ll still make a good granola to go in yogurt.


  38. #
    Ashley — December 18, 2011 @ 3:03 pm

    I made some of these just now. I replaced the nuts with sunflower seeds, the brown rice syrup with honey, and added shredded coconut. I had a taste test before putting it in the oven and it is delicious!! Thanks!


  39. #
    Dana — January 4, 2012 @ 5:08 pm

    I love this recipe! Just made some with Nutella instead of peanut butter, then also added some hazelnuts and dried cherries. So tasty. Thanks for sharing!


  40. #
    Patty Gardner — January 5, 2012 @ 3:34 pm

    I made these today but they were crumbly. I wondered whether they were “wet” enough when I pressed them into the pan but I thought they were okay. I’ll crumble this batch and use it as granola. Next time I’ll be sure they’re “wetter”.


  41. #
    Stephanie — January 6, 2012 @ 10:10 pm

    Does it need to be natural peanut butter ???


  42. #
    Katie — January 20, 2012 @ 3:53 pm

    If you are having a hard time making them hold together, I usually add a couple cups of marshmallows (I know it makes it less healthy but it does help them to be chewier and my kids like them more) and only cook it until they start to look a little golden (only about 10-12 min). You can also add rice krispy cereal to make some more texture difference. Steel cut oats work way better than quick oats or even standard quaker. You can even prewet the oats (just a little- don’t soak) to help them soften and make more of a chewy bar that holds together.


  43. #
    Jess — January 23, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

    I had the same crumbly problem. The crumbs however, taste really yummy. I also used natural PB which I couldn’t get to melt very well at all…We don’t use a microwave, so I was wondering if that might be why. Added more honey to try to get it more “doughy”, but I guess it wasn’t enough. I’m thinking it would probably work best with a microwave, or at least a sugarier brand of PB. Thinking of using as regular old granola, but I need to figure out a way to make it a little firmer. Can I rebake somehow? Any ideas?


  44. #
    Michelle — January 26, 2012 @ 12:39 am

    Thanks! This is a great recipe. I did the no bake version and like the texture better than baked versions I’ve tried in the past. I added in a half cup of cocoa powder to the honey and PB when it was simmering and am ecstatic with the results. I didn’t realize that cocoa has one gram of fiber per TBS.


  45. #
    Michelle — January 26, 2012 @ 12:41 am

    Also, for those having trouble melting the peanut butter try heating the honey with it.


  46. #
    Danielle — January 26, 2012 @ 1:16 am

    This sounds so awesome. But I’m a little bit worried about adding honey to mine, because most of the time I don’t like the taste. What does brown rice syrup taste like and will I be able to find it anywhere? Like Wal-Mart?


    • Jessica — January 26th, 2012 @ 8:04 am

      Not sure if Walmart has it because I don’t shop there, but I am guessing no – only because it can even be tough to find in my local grocery store. But you never know – they might have it so I would check! If you don’t like honey you may not like brown rice syrup… perhaps try agave or maple syrup??


  47. #
    Ida — January 31, 2012 @ 3:21 pm

    I made these tonight and they turned out so dry and a lot browner than yours. :( I am so sad! I guess I should’ve added alot more peanut butter or honey. I will try again!!! I just need more pb :O


  48. #
    stacy — February 2, 2012 @ 12:12 am

    Hi,I’m going to try making these for my very,extremely picky 15 yr old son:P please try the Bacon ones so I can get that recipe too? He is always hungry and growing like a weed! It’s hard to find stuff to send with him to school that he dosent have to heat up or keep cold!! THX.


  49. #
    Molly — February 6, 2012 @ 6:22 pm

    Just made these! They are AWESOME!!! love the simplicity, thanks for the recipe!


  50. #
    Crystal Rolfe — February 6, 2012 @ 9:07 pm

    Well, we made these last night and sadly they were just crumbles. They were very tasty though and we ended up having this over our ice cream for dessert w/ the rice syrup….sooooooo yummy!



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